(Syracuse) Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, said today that by any fair and objective standard, he should be included in debates with Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo and his Republican challenger, Rob Astorino.
Two polls released yesterday in upstate conservative districts (19th and 21) showed Hawkins at 12%. (bit.ly/1qIhnnh bit.ly/WQ7lUV). Both polls were conducted prior to the stunning primary result where 40% of the Democrats rejected Cuomo.
Earlier statewide polls had him ahead of Zephyr Teachout with about 7% of the statewide vote.
"I am the only candidate who wants to ban fracking, a position I ran on four years ago. I am also the only one that wants a $15 an hour minimum wage, while Cuomo and Astorino want it to be a sub poverty wage," Hawkins pointed out.
"After the beating he took in the primaries, Cuomo is more afraid of me than he is of Astorino. Teachout demonstrated that if voters have a progressive alternative, a lot of workers, parents, educators and anti-fracking and anti-casino voters aren't going to vote for Cuomo. So Cuomo is happy to join with his conservative partner Astorino to try to exclude candidates willing to speak up for the 99% of New Yorkers who can't afford to buy a Governor," said Hawkins.
"I am the only progressive left on the November ballot and the majority of New Yorkers are progressive. That majority deserves to have their candidate in the debates. We shouldn't limit debates to the candidates of the wealthy and special interests," Hawkins said.
"By any reasonable fair and objective criteria, I should be included in debates," Hawkins said. "Since I launched my campaign I have attracted nearly as many contributors as Cuomo. I am running an active, serious, statewide campaign. I came in third out of seven candidates in 2010 and secured a ballot line for the Green Party without riding the coattails of another party's candidate. New York progressives should not have their only candidate excluded from the debates."